Tag Archives: critique

Dragons of Wellsdeep – Page 3 edit

Dragons of Wellsdeep_pg3_Dawn Blair


Dragons of Wellsdeep_pg3_edited_Dawn Blair

 

The draft on top is the original draft as it has been written. On the bottom is my edit draft with my handwritten comments.

This page is is another one that needs a lot more description as well as to be locked in a point of view. We’ve lost the priest and priestess on this page too. There needs to be more of a struggle from the dragon here as well. These are the last moments of her life and she’s got to perform the magic. In writing as far as I have now, I know exactly what the dragons mean to the character I want to carry the point of view during this scene, so when I rewrite I’ll be adding much more angst to him. One thing I did mark in this that I still need to puzzle out is how my character feels about getting this new dragonborn to train. I’m sure he wasn’t expecting this, but I don’t know why he’s here. There’s some of his backstory I need to fill in. Working on a developing plot is much like figuring out a puzzle. Or rather it’s like working on several puzzles where the pieces have been all mixed together and there might be some missing. A lot of times I get an idea or an image in my mind of what I want to happen, but it’s not right for the story and I have to throw it out — it can easily be a piece to another story. Other times, I have to massage a piece until it fits just right (okay, so that doesn’t exactly work with the puzzle analogy, but since this is a puzzle in your mind anyway and not a real puzzle, shaving off a few corners to round the piece out or gluing shavings back on works).

I mention magic here. Yes, I want this to be more magical. I love writing magic. I will tell you now that I see this world connecting with the world in my Sacred Knight series. It is two separate stories and my characters will never meet, but I know that both are earth-based universes. The more I write and plot out books, the more I see how they all connect. Yes, even The Loki Adventures connects to the Sacred Knight universe — the first connect was in For A Good Time, Call Loki (the third novella of the five part kickoff series) and I have another story line planned out in which Loki will meet Freygorio — that one’s going to be a little different to write! So why do authors start to round books into the same worlds like this? It’s because we have characters we love and themes we enjoy writing about. For me, my themes are about noble hearts and fantastic places, good triumphing over evil, and fortune favoring the brave. Courage, magic, and ancient history fascinate me, but I’m more interested in twisting reality than recording things as they actually happen(ed). It’s why I could never be a journalist or an archaeologist, both careers which I explored before I realized that I was more into fantasy than non-fiction. So, I work on the mind puzzles I’m given and solve these plots with the intent of giving a good story to my readers.

So, I must work harder as you can see from my edits on the last few pages. The story must go deeper. At this stage, that’s a good thing. Onward!

Go back through the page and read the proposed changes. How would you incorporate changes? What would you do? Do you see something I missed. Comment below. Then we can have fun and see how the page develops into the second draft together.

Dragons of Wellsdeep – page 1 edit

Dragons of Wellsdeep_pg1_Dawn Blair  Dragons of Wellsdeep_pg1_edited_Dawn Blair

The draft on top is the original draft as it has been written. On the bottom is my edit draft with my handwritten comments.

This scene is completely written in an omnipotent point of view. That is to say that it’s like a ghostly spirit is hanging around watching the scene — the fly on the wall, so to speak. It’s fine to start a scene that way, but, as you’ll see next week when we discuss page 2, it gets to needing a point of view very quickly. Why? Because in omnipotent point of view, it is possible to have everyone’s thoughts (being in the head of every character) all at once or truly being the disembodied spirit and being in no one’s thoughts but the spirits. Too many writers use omnipotent point of view and in my opinion they do it incorrectly. Thoughts are everywhere. I will give more details in the blog later as it’s too lengthy to discuss now.

This scene also needs far more description than it has. It’s fast and some description will help slow this scene down and ground the characters into it. Showing it from one character’s point of view will also help. I find that if one character is thinking about what’s going on rather than the floating spirit, it gets richer and deeper in being able to filter the scene through the character’s life experience. When you’re god, you know everything and all, so it’s hard to really be able to shade things emotionally as good or bad. The event just is what it is.

More description, like in illustrating how the priestesses are dressed, will tell if they were ready for this birthing or not. Little details can show so much about the story.

Go back through the page and read the proposed changes. How would you incorporate changes? What would you do? Do you see something I missed. Comment below. Then we can have fun and see how the page develops into the second draft together.

Dragons of Wellsdeep- prologue- page 2 edit

Dragons of Wellsdeep_Prologue_Dawn Blair-2Dragons of Wellsdeep_Prologue_Dawn Blair-2_edit

About my page 2 edits:

My word clusters continue on this page. In fact, I think they are growing.

The sentences with * at the end indicate that I have a “was” in the sentence. I’ve also put a square around the little offensive word. Don’t worry — I will get around to writing my blog post(s) about why I dislike “was” so much. And yes, it is possible to write without using “was.”

I’ve also marked areas that have bumped me or where I want more. I’ve even been critiquing like I’ve been working on someone else’s story (“Can you show this more?” and “Bumped me.”) I like to imagine this as my left brain talking to my right brain.

Based on this page, I really do think that it will grow in size as I work more material into it.

On this page, my point of view (pov) is really setting in; it’s the thing in the water’s point of view. But I’m not deep enough in the character’s head. That’s part of my call for MORE! I should at least try imagining this from the little boy’s point of view, just to see if the story can carry it. I personally don’t think it can; it just wouldn’t have the same suspense. The reader needs to fear for the little boy. Therefore, it has to be the well-dweller’s point of view.

I’ve also written far enough into the story as I’m posting this, that I know I have a change. Yes, as you review the first draft (after having it all completed) you will see things that you need to change and correct. I just know from the pages I’ve already written that I didn’t like the idea of a dragon (yes, the thing in the well is a dragon) returning to spawn where it was hatched. It’s a fair idea as it stands, but it doesn’t work for my story and I’ll be taking it out. I think.

Note your suggestions in the comments below.

My Mission

I want to read fiction again.

I want to make you a better writer.

These are my reasons for writing this blog.

See, we’ve gotten to a day and age where editors no longer groom their writers like they once did. They expect writers to already know how to write by the time they approach an editor. But editors are busy in meetings trying to sell the books they like to the publishing house that they pass on the task of actually reading the manuscript to assistants. Everyone is looking for the next best-SELLING author. Even the authors themselves want to sell.

It’s a travesty that no one wants to learn their craft anymore.

As a result, I put many promising books down after reading the first paragraph. Yes, in one paragraph I can tell if you have studied writing at all, if you’ve ever had a teacher or critique partner that really made you get into how you put words on a page other than just slapping them down.

I want to enjoy fiction again, like I once did before I really learned my craft. Now when I read fiction, I get so tripped up over the writing that I can’t follow the story. I want to grab my red pen and show the author how to do it better. You’ll get there too. (That’s a warning: if you want to remain a reader, go no further on this blog. But do me a favor and never write anything ever again. It’s okay to be a reader. We need people who just read. But if you honestly look at me and say that you can’t stop writing, that it’s a creative fire in your veins, then listen to my advice well and make yourself a better writer. You will, unfortunately, probably not be able to read most of the horrendous things being published today though.)

There has also been a belief come out in today’s world that it’s better to be a best-selling author than a best-writing author. I dislike this mentality. You should still know your craft, know how to tell a good story. It’s okay if you don’t know everything. It’s okay to get your story out into the world even if it’s not perfect. It never will be perfect in your eyes. But, it should be worthy of someone’s time to read it.

I’ve judged contests on local, state, and national levels. If you’ve been on the end of one of my critiques, chances are that my comments have stung a bit. I have a belief that “warm fuzzies” help no one. I want you to get better. I want you to improve your writing. (Find out how here)

I wrote a book called The Write Edit based on things about writing that I learned while judging these contests. But throwing your baby out in the world doesn’t guarantee success. I though authors would flock to it when I told them what I could do for them. However, as I even illustrate in the book, there is a big difference between telling your story and showing you story. It’s time I quit telling you about my awesome editing book and show you why you need it.

Then, in return, I hope you write an awesome piece of fiction that I can read and enjoy.

Shall we begin?